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3 Days in Saudi Arabia: Things to Do as an American

If you are looking for a fantastic place to travel on your next vacation leave—Saudi Arabia is home to many stunning and picturesque destinations. It may not be the most typical place to travel if you are looking to party and have a few drinks and enjoy the nightlife, Saudi Arabia is probably not the best place for you to go. 

But the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is so much more than partying. Alcohol might be banned in this beautiful mecca, but that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy your stay. Saudi Arabia should be on everyone’s travel bucket lists. It is home to structures that date back to 2000 years ago, and it is full of history, mystery and offers an exhilarating ride beyond the capital city of Riyadh. 

Before we plan your 3-day itinerary in Saudi Arabia, here are a couple of things that you should probably know first as part of preparations for your big trip:

  • Visa Requirements for Americans

American citizens will need a tourist visa when entering Saudi Arabia. If you are looking for a flight to Saudi Arabia from Saudi Airlines Booking, the airline or travel agency will fill you in on the requirements that you will need before flying and entering Saudi Arabia. 

Make sure you get all the travel requirements in advance before your next flight so that you can enter the kingdom smoothly without a fuss.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very conservative Islam country. Wearing appropriate clothes is expected of tourists. However, foreign women do are not required to wear an Abaya or cloak. 

It is just more polite to stick with wearing long pants and tee-shirts instead of wearing short skirts, shorts, sleeveless clothing, tank tops, and other pieces that are way too revealing. The same goes for me, and men shouldn’t wear tank tops and very short shorts to avoid getting frowned upon.

3 Days in Saudi Arabia: Your Itinerary

Traveling to a foreign land may cost a lot of money, but there are ways to save money on air travel. Traveling to Saudi Arabia is not particularly expensive since there will not be much partying going on. Your trip to this mysterious land will only involve experiencing culture, taking a look at history, and mingling with the polite and respectful locals. 

Now that you are all ready for your trip, we prepared a 3-day itinerary for you to make the most of your 3 days in this beautiful kingdom. 

Day One: Things to do in Riyadh

Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital, and it would take weeks to explore everything worth seeing in this city fully. If you only had a day to spare, make sure you try the food and photograph the ancient architecture and stunning views. Here are some of the best places to visit on your first day in the capital:

  • Riyadh Kingdom Centre Tower

This tower is one of the tallest points in Riyadh. It is a famous landmark in Saudi Arabia, and it has a shopping mall, a residential complex, and an observatory. It measures a whopping 992 feet above the ground, and it is an excellent place to go to start your day in Riyadh.

You can also make day one the culinary day where you get to experience the food and make the day all about food. Make sure you drink bottled water because usually, Americans have to adjust to the local water.

Day Two: The Ruins 

Day two is a day to go and visit ancient ruins and explore the mountains. If you are a history buff, you can visit places like the Al Ula Ruins. It is a common destination for tourists, and it features a stunning formation of ancient architecture made with golden rock formations. These natural formations seem very magical and worth visiting if you are into mystery. 

There are so many ancient kingdoms and towns near the capital, and it is best to visit them during day two before you end the trip visiting the mountains or the sea. 

Day Three: The Mountains or the Sea

On your last day, or before you end your second day, you can visit the Mountains of Asir. It is south of the capital and home to stunning mountain views and unique landscapes to look at! If you decide to come to Asir on the second day, you can go on hikes and enjoy the green side of the country—just make sure you packed your essential hiking gear.

Alternatively, you can also check out the Red Sea and go scuba diving. It is one of the best snorkeling and scuba diving. And to make it better, diving is not very popular in Saudi Arabia, so there aren’t any long lines if you decide to go to the sea. 

The Do’s and Don’ts when Traveling to Saudi Arabia

To understand the social customs in Saudi Arabia easier, here are a couple of tips about what is okay to do and what is considered rude. It’s better to know these things in advance than learn them when you get there and learn the hard way.

Do’s

  • Men and women should wear conservative clothing as a sign of respect for their culture.
  • Learn the “Marhaban” greeting, which means welcome, and the “Marhabtain” greeting, which means I give you two welcomes. 
  • Always be respectful and smile at the locals
  • Accept whatever the locals are offering, and consume the food or drink with the right hand. You will most definitely love Arabian coffee if you are a coffee lover. 

Don’ts

  • Do not refuse when locals are offering you something.
  • Remove your shoes when entering a local’s home.
  • Be sensitive during Ramadan, and do not show any local you are eating.
  • Men should not extend a handshake to local women unless they extend their hands first.
  • Do not take pictures of locals without asking permission.
  • Do not talk about religion and politics with any of the locals.

Visiting Saudi Arabia will definitely become an instantly amazing experience for you. This 3-day itinerary is one of the best ways to maximize your stay in the country if you have limited time. 

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